The new Toronto police cruisers are popping up around town and now the truth is in the streets: our public officials are global warming ignoramuses. Instead of sinking public money into a fleet of hybrids that would pay for itself in gas savings (cops log in over 30 million kilometres a year), we are stuck with combustion dinosaurs.
In the mayor's office, spokesperson Stuart Green says the city wasn't responsible for the car selection and that this was strictly police business.
Weird, we always thought it was the city that controlled the Police Services budget.
But besides the monster green gaffe, there's the stinky design itself. Experts say the autos fail miserably to reflect the city's self-concept.
"It's pretty bad," says Samantha Sannella, president of the Design Exchange, of the splashy red and blue colour scheme. "It definitely looks like a tube of toothpaste. Do they evaluate how this brands Toronto?"
Says professor Keith Rushton of OCAD's faculty of design, the whole package lacks "clarity" and "sense." The new white cruiser, he says, is a "visibly invisible car' in a city where concrete and snow already create a neutral palette. He wonders why instead of the splashy waves, designers didn't use the simple diagonal lines that convey the message of seriousness and emergency employed on European police vehicles.
Police rep Victor Kwong insists that "a lot of thought went into the redesign." After surveying other forces' cruisers, a detective sergeant offered four designs, and the force voted for its favourite, he says.
The new look, says Kwong, is meant to modernize the force's image. Not likely with those gas hogs.